Graduation – Five Years On
Posted on: 2 February 2022 in 2021 posts
Two friends from Liverpool talk about their different professional journeys from beginner's level German at our University as part of the Triple Subject T900 (BA Hons). Eloise tells us all about her experience this week.
I studied the Modern European Languages course at the University of Liverpool – continuing with Spanish and French from A-Level and picking German up as a beginner. Learning German from scratch at degree level and only having a short time to reach the same proficiency as the A-Level students was quite stressful. On top of this, the degree itself was definitely a challenge, especially trying to switch from one language to another on a daily basis and trying to remember vocabulary and grammar rules from all three at the same time, but it was a challenge that certainly paid off in the end.
In my third year, I went on my year abroad to university in Alcalá de Henares, Spain for the first semester and then Würzburg, Germany for the second. I was incredibly apprehensive as I had never been to Germany before and wasn’t very convinced of my ability to speak German. However, six months down the line I was confidently conversing with the local residents and, according to my German colleagues and customers at American Airlines, even spoke German with a Bavarian accent!
Speaking of American Airlines, after graduating I began working there on the German team. I found the job to be really fun and rewarding. I was spending each workday speaking with not only Germans, but also Austrian and Swiss people, and in turn, improving my language skills (especially my Swiss German). I enjoyed listening to people’s holiday plans and reasons for travel and loved hearing the excitement in their voices, especially if they were travelling for a wedding or their once in a lifetime trip. My favourite part, however, was the few times where callers mistook me for actually being German and being surprised when I told them I wasn’t. I left AA when the COVID19 pandemic hit in 2020, as the job unfortunately became too difficult. At the moment, I am working a regular job in finance, but in my free time I am completing a CELTA course with the intention to hopefully teach English in South Korea.
I am eternally grateful to the University of Liverpool, especially to all my tutors for their excellent teaching and constant support - even the support I’m still receiving years after graduation! I am still using the methods and skills my tutors taught me now, as I struggle to learn Korean from scratch, and I also use aspects of them in my own lesson plans and teaching methodology as I progress through my CELTA certification. Not only did I leave the university with a 2:1 Honours degree, but I also left with friends for life. Both Jess and I studied the same three languages and degree and met in our very first ab initio German class. Five years later, we are still the best of friends. So, thank you to the University of Liverpool for making me the linguist (and hopefully soon the teacher) I am today and for allowing me to meet so many incredible people, fellow students and tutors alike.
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